Saturday, October 25, 2014

FLORIDA BOUND!!!

VACATION!!! You have no idea how excited I am to be on a plane heading to Florida for 10 days!  Yes, it's safe to say that Tom and I have spoiled ourselves this past year (live life now!) with tons of vacations --- but the reality is that many of them were on a tight budget and thus super short and usually I was racing and worrying about logistics, sleep, pre-riding etc. Tom will race Miami 70.3 on Sunday -- but after that it's all about resting, relaxing and enjoying the beach!!  A real actual non-race vacation (well at least for me)! 

I must admit however, it's kind of sad leaving Minneapolis when we are in the midst of one of the best Fall seasons ever!! The trees are absolutely beautiful and the weather has been staying in the 60s and even hitting the 70s a few times in the last month. Trust me, after last winter....we deserve this!!

Taken on the Lake Minnetonka Regional Trail -- my new favorite trail!  I love the limestone crunch.

Last Saturday I raced my first official "night race" and got to break in my brand new sexy Beargrease!! I am absolutely obsessed with this bike! It is so bright and happy and fast and fits me like a glove.  It's easily the best bike I've ever owned.  "You had me at hello!"

The Tomcat captured this awesome photo!!
 
Okay, back to night riding, I had done a night lap at Wausau 12 hour a couple years ago, but other than that I am sad to admit I haven't really found the time to enjoy the awesomeness of night riding all that much.  Well or at least try to.  During the 50 minutes of racing in the dark my emotions kept switching from "this is so freaking awesome, I love this" to " oh my gosh, do you think there could be a kidnapper hanging out back here? and oh my gosh, what was that noise?!?!?"  "I'll take the rapist for $500!"   I don't think I'd ever survive a 24 hour race without completely having a panic attack!

Speaking of night riding.  A big shout to my other Michigan BFF Jill Martindale who is racing the 12 Hours of Nite Nationals tonight in Alabama!  Get it girl!!

Meanwhile, my cute little niece Addie turned 2 and she wore the cutest little Minnie Mouse outfit on her birthday I could barely stand it.  Of course her favorite gift was a pair of  Mickey and Minnie Mouse stuffed animals


Which she even insisted on sleeping with....

 
Not much else to report from my little world besides the fact that Winter is Coming!!!!...and so naturally I needed to buy a new pair of Sorels for all those post race bonfires that await me.  EEK!

MINE!!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Filthy 50

What does someone who rides 50 miles of gravel do immediately afterwards?  Drink beer, and dream about the next time she can ride 50+ miles of gravel!!   Filthy 50 was my first gravel ride and I can't wait to do another one.  Any suggestions???? Let em rip! 

I so love how casual this event felt, yet at the same time it was incredibly organized!! Huge props to Trenton for putting on a fantastic event, complete with post race food truck, beer, and a gigantic raffle! I think someone even won a microwave??  I will admit when I found out the "meat raffle" only included one prize of meat I was slightly disappointed, ha!! It's still a dream of mine to win some meat!

 
The course was hilly in a good way, and the cue cards were super easy to follow. I didn't even get lost!!! I suppose this was mostly out of luck, as the group of guys I was riding with were pretty on top of things. The navigation concern was big motivation or me to NOT GET DROPPED!! From a fitness standpoint I've seen better days, but I absolutely expected to feel that way. So instead of worrying about it,  I embraced the moment and pushed as hard as I could. This is what I love most about riding and racing.  No matter where you are at from a fitness or skill standpoint...you can always control one thing...how freaking bad it hurts!!  The pack I was riding with was working really well together until about 42 miles in when one dude decided to turn the screws.  To his credit he was dragging most of our asses up every steep climb.  The moment he started to throw it I tried to go with him, but really I just ended up tearing everything apart which resulted in me suffering terribly for 8 miles to the finish.  I loved every moment of it!

Photo Credit: Pat Lemieux

Now all I can think about is another gravel ride...;)

And....FAT BIKING!!! I so can't wait for the winter season to start.  I'm saving $$ and plotting out logistics to make it to as many Great Lakes Fat Bike series races as possible. I am also in the process of getting my Beargrease all ready to rock, and can't wait to try her out this weekend at the Murphy Nocturnal Race.  Time to dust off the lights!

On another note...last weekend I volunteered for the first time at a NICA race.  I had so much fun and was super happy to be given the job of a "Rover" for all of the girls races. "Red Rover, Red Rover, send April right over." Being a rover pretty much meant that I just got to ride around for 3 hours and cheer for everyone!!! If an emergency had taken place I would have had to get involved, but thankfully I just got to cheer and ride!!  I left the race feeling so inspired by all these girls riding super hard and really pushing themselves, what a day! 

Lastly, huge congratulations are in order for my Michigan BFF that finished a solid 4th place at 24 Hour Worlds (in Scotland) this past weekend...way to go Danielle!!!  I had a blast Saturday virtual cheering for her and this was my hand-up to her around 8 pm! Did someone say Dominos??